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"This must be understood: we are at the very beginning"

Governor of the Amur Region Alexander Kozlov on the changes in the region and the immediate prospects

In the Amur region, the largest investment projects in the Far East are developing: the third year is the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant Gazprom, oversees the site for gas chemistry SIBUR, and conducted the second launch of the Vostochny Cosmodrome. At the "Days of the Far East in Moscow," the head of the Amur Region, Alexander Kozlov, explained why and how the agricultural region is gradually turning into an industrial one, and where qualified personnel, large salaries and foreign tourists will come from.

"This must be understood: we are at the very beginning"
Photo: VEF-2017 / TASS Photobank

- Let's remember the 2015 year, when the Amur Region became one of the leaders in Russia in terms of reducing budget expenditures - by 13,8%. What happened to the budget over the years?

- In March 2015, before my assumption of office, the state debt of the region was 98%, today - 76%. Throughout this time, the government of the region has been working to reduce the cost of servicing the public debt. Since the beginning of 2017, the interest rate on market loans has been reduced from 10,2% to 8,2% per annum. The measures taken allowed this year to save 432 million rubles, which are directed to the priority expenses of the regional budget.

- But it is still loans to commercial banks?

- The situation was this: in 2015 year from 30 billion rubles. state debt of about 10 billion rubles. there were budget loans - at a rate of 0,1%, the rest - commercial. Now we have 20 billion rubles. loans budget, and only 10 billion rubles. - commercial. This gives another 1 billion rubles in savings per year. In other words, we only received credits at work with loans for more than 1,3 billion rubles. - it's a lot of money. Thanks to the measures taken, it was possible, for example, to pay off debts on payments of regional "parent capital", to begin to fulfill fully the obligations to subsidize the interest rate for Amur residents who received mortgages.

- Restructuring of debt is accompanied by economic restructuring?

- Rather anticipates it. In 2016, when we had a working trip with President Vladimir Putin, we discussed these issues. We have been the agricultural capital of the Far East all our life. And today large corporations come to us: Gazprom, Roskosmos, RusHydro. This is all additional income in the economy. But these are long-term projects with a deferred effect. To live up to how this money will appear in the budget of the Amur region, the region needed to be supported in terms of the existing national debt. Decisions on debt restructuring for 7 years are, of course, a great help.

- How big in numbers?

- For example, the next year, 2018, we had to return 6,9 billion of state debt. Now taking into account the restructuring - 745 million rubles. What the president has done is the right decision and on time. While large companies are building something, we sent support to agriculture. And there we will develop new branches - with the help of the center, of course.

- Does the federal center still have a willingness to help?

- Yes, we continue to receive support. For example, on behalf of the president in 2016, we were allocated money for a resettlement program from emergency housing. This allowed people to move from barracks. The Amur region had one of the highest indicators for emergency housing in the country, we simply did not hide it and put everything on record: 319 thousand square meters. meters. During the four years of the resettlement program, it was possible to reset 97 thousand "squares". After the president's decision - in less than a year, 82 thousands were settled. Can you imagine: four years and a year? Now there are about 140 thousand "squares". And we are now working with the Ministry of Construction, the Housing Reform Fund and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak to get additional funding and continue this program. This is also a very important task.

- With the fulfillment of another important task, the "May decrees" of the president, how are things going?

- This is a priority in the formation of any budget. We are making every effort, and the requirements of the "May decrees" for the region are being fulfilled. Next year, we also provided funds, ensuring strict fulfillment of the "May" decrees of the President of Russia on raising salaries for medical workers, teachers, and workers in the sphere of culture. The average salary in the region will be 37 thousand rubles. In addition, Amur residents at the meetings repeatedly raised the issue of raising the minimum wage for low-paid categories of workers. And we did it. From 1 January of 2018 year on the territory of the region we will pay wages taking into account the minimum wage plus district coefficient.

- Do teachers and doctors get the same amount?

- In each category, wages are determined on the basis of those targets for wage growth, which are determined by a presidential decree.

- And here are examples, which are often said: in the regional centers, state employees receive on average, and at 100 km you will give back - and all, there are no such salaries. Is there such a thing?

Regardless of where the specialists work - in the regional center or in remote settlements - the salary depends on the contribution of each employee to the achieved performance indicators of the institution. Effective contracts are concluded with each employee, and the bonus is distributed taking into account the opinion of the collective, trade unions, and the head of the department. Therefore, the approach is individual to any case, such is the system.


- Let's move on to economics. The region climbed to the 31 position in the investment climate rating, which assesses the general business conditions, became the 47 in the country. But before the Far Eastern regions the task is to enter the TOP-30. How do you think, it will turn out?

- We were highly appreciated at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, but we understand: we can not stop at what has been achieved. There are positions that can not be improved in the rating without serious investments, for example, the cost of cadastral work, we calculated, by demarcation - it's about 400 million rubles. But there are points in the rating associated with administrative procedures - for example, reducing the timing of electricity supply, issuing a building permit. I believe that this is in our authority, and we need to work with this.

- You talked about new industries. For the region, this is gas processing, space programs - what else?

- The structure of the subsidiary Rostekha will develop the Ogodzhinskoye coal deposit - this is coal, export, which has not yet been mined in the Amruska region. The gas chemical plant, as you know, involves the construction of SIBUR.

- The company will make an investment decision this year?

- It is more correct to ask top management about this, but we are waiting for this decision.

- You can be proud of the arrival of large corporations, but they would probably come to you without any preferences. But how are the created territories of advanced development, which are three, and other support measures attract medium business?

- You correctly noted: we have created several areas of advanced development (TOP). The first one is gas, in the town of Svobodny. There really are registered large companies, besides carrying additional expenses for social infrastructure - after all, everything is built from scratch. But the TOP "Belogorsk" is an agricultural TOP. And there preferences are aimed precisely at the development of medium-sized businesses. The investor in the oil extraction plant, which was launched by the President in the video bridge mode at the third Eastern Economic Forum, saved money on taxes allowed to build two houses for his employees - to transport them from the regional center to Belogorsk. The bakery plant in the TOP "Belogorsk", it is generally a small business, to save on taxes updated equipment. In the TOP "Priamurskaya" small businesses are registered that supply fertilizers for agriculture. And the TOP is waiting for its investors after the completion of the bridge over the Amur.

"How soon will this happen?"

- About the bridge, as you remember, talked for about 25 years, and the work began only in December 2016. Now everything is on schedule, according to which construction should be completed by the end of 2019. Yes, the task becomes more complicated: to the main bridge it is necessary to make a bridge through a channel length of 258 meters and 14 kilometers of access roads, a viaduct. But I'm sure the builders will cope. And we created the TOP "Priamurskaya" formed a base - once the bridge is completed, it will be necessary to build a logistics center. And at us the platform is already ready.

- Another major project, joint with the Chinese investor, is Amur Refinery. What's with him now: frozen, coming?

- As far as we know, the Chinese company, which announced the implementation of this project, was able to take advantage of preferences in the TOP, registered. Now the investor is at the design stage and in negotiations with the companies "Rosneft", "Transneft" about the raw materials. It's business. We, as the authorities, have created a territory for advanced development. And capital for money - always negotiate.

-Agriculture will not be thrown, what are the tasks for the development of this industry?

- We constantly introduce the land into circulation and increase the yield per hectare. This year, gathered 1,3 million tons of soybeans - this is the first result across the country.

- Exporting?

- Yes, it is obligatory: we ship to the region outside Irkutsk, to the oil and fat combine, the rest is sold abroad. But you need to understand: if you sow constantly soy, the immunity of the soil is falling, respectively, the yield this will no longer be. Back in 2016, we raised the issue on the Security Council of the Russian Federation that it was necessary to allow the export of wheat to China. This will help maintain the crop rotation: soybean alternate with wheat. This decision was made this year. We created a working group to bring the business smoothly to it, take into account the experience of other regions and not repeat their mistakes. We are waiting for the next step - in corn. It's difficult to get to the Chinese market, they support their own in the first place.

- Yes, and Russian meat is not allowed there.

- Nevertheless, we also support animal husbandry. By milk among other neighbors, we are much ahead, it is appreciated even in China. This year, we introduced a farm for 490 heads of cattle, we introduce pig farms - all companies are local.


-Many projects you listed, and all the large-scale. Do you have any shots for them?

- The question is multifaceted, and I would first answer this: what we do in terms of personnel for new industries. First of all, the employment management in the Amur region is doing a lot of work for retraining - it's a painstaking job. No less important issue is youth, and here it is necessary to act on the future. In 2011, my predecessor, Oleg Kozhemyako, with Roskosmos persuaded future students and their parents: your children should go to the Amur State University to the "space" department. As a result - from 48 trained, 47 work in the region, got an apartment in Tsiolkovsky. This result was given by the joint work. We are ready for it. "Gazprom" opens specialized "gas" classes for ourselves, we associate the secondary technical education and the Amur State University as a core university, so that the complex would be: a class - a technical school - a higher education. We continue to work with "Roskosmos", "SIBUR", the Ministry of Emergency Situations - begins preliminary training at the school level.

- It stimulates the youth not to leave, you see the results like that?

- People always want to move, it's normal. But in the Amur region a very good base for training. Let's say, the energy department - we train cadres for the entire energy sector of the Far East. Training along the Gazprom line is also a good anchor for children. When we opened in the Free City class "Gazprom" in the technical school, it was equipped with the most modern requirements. But this also applies to other areas, for example, in the Far Eastern Agrarian State University, which is preparing cadres for the village, the combine manufacturer agreed to supply a modern model of its products. It is very important for the employer that specialists come to him who know modern technology, and not 1970-ies.

-However, not on all specialties can one get an education in the region?

- Today we have all the basic universities. We are the granary of the Far East - we have the Far Eastern Agricultural University, there is the Soy Institute - the only one in the country. There is the Amur State Medical Academy, the Amur State University, which becomes the mainstay for space, for the company Gazprom. And, you know, it was nice when I saw a young teacher in chemistry in the technical school, who herself graduated from the Amur Pedagogical University. This is a "closed loop", expressed in technical terms. And, this is what we need!

- Are you born in the Amur Region?

- I was born in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, but yes, I got secondary and higher education in the Amur region.

- As one of the youngest governors of Russia, what would you say to the youth of the Far East, what should be the motivation to stay?

- I will say: take your time, this is the first. The second point is not to chase after money. When I worked in the coal industry, the older comrades said: "Alexander, do not believe these advertisements. When you achieve certain victories, then you will be judged, and all will be given to you. " And, in reality, that's the way it is. When not money is a priority, but a goal. I earned my first car when I worked as a legal adviser: it turned out to return additional money to the company, I was given a premium, and I bought my first car.

- How old were you?

- I was 21-22 years old. I was taught to work, and I believe that you need to become an expert in your direction. And when you become a good specialist, you will always be dragged on, because you are in demand. The market of professional people, and at the same time responsible, is very small, and they are all waiting for today. Today, quality and quality are required in the profession - and in everything. I remember myself, I worked at the company in a difficult period - it was in the bankruptcy procedure. My wife worked as a psychologist at school. I - until 1 am: come, sleep, and tomorrow morning - go to the process. They worked - and were evaluated and salary, and prospects, and communication, and contacts, and the opportunity to prove themselves.

-How does a person who made a career at a fairly young age, how do you rate the contest "Leaders of Russia"?

- I think that it is "excellent". This is an opportunity to realize yourself in the future. At us at the coal enterprise the personnel reserve worked: you could appear from a office on a cut, then different movements to pass - both horizontally, and vertically. It's great, in fact, we are dreaming to do it ourselves in the region.


- If you compare, what area was about ten years ago and now, what can you say?

- I'm not afraid of these expressions: "A wheel comes to us." That is, industrialization comes to the Amur Region. Because it was a whole agricultural life, and the monument to the trader - the "shuttle" at the Amur Fair - is a symbol of the new time. Now comes another time.

- But do you still need to use the export potential?

- The border factor with China can not be used. Today, the difference in the value of currencies has contributed to the fact that, firstly, the Chinese go to Russia for shopping, and secondly, our entrepreneurs can start deliveries there: confectionery, perfumes, dairy products, flour, cigarettes ... No less important factor is tourism. The Chinese today believe that everyone should visit the north. And when he comes to the northern city of Heihe on the bank of the Cupid, and you need to cross just 750 meters to Blagoveshchensk to be "in Europe" - it's worth doing. And we - to use this. Today we have a turn, we are the third subject of Russia in the country by tourists from China, and we are working with the business community to create normal, right conditions for the Chinese tourist.

"Is this hotels?" Or a beautiful promenade?

"The embankment in our country has changed: people are walking around, there is no such thing in Moscow. This is the facade of the country, and it is strikingly different from what was in the days of my students. Today it is musical, creative: artists perform there, and many events take place. But for the Chinese tourism first of all logistics is important. The bridge, which we have already talked about, will allow buses to go without dependence from seasonality, plus a draft of the cable car through the Amur is being worked out. Issues related to the hotel business are also important.

- Are there four-star hotels?

- Not yet.

- But is someone going to build?

- So let's say - while they look and believe. All such projects, which will stimulate the development of the hotel business, are tied to Gazprom, Sibur, and Roskosmos. For example, with the latter and with RZhD we are preparing an agreement - we want to make a car that will travel from Blagoveshchensk to the cosmodrome and back. We are now at the very beginning. They think the announcement sounded that these large companies are entering the region - and this is the end. In fact, it is only the beginning of a big joint way to develop the region. The same effect of the multiplier: how many enterprises arise around, to build plants, then to service them, then factories for plants will appear next to the factories. And with the hotels the business will cope for sure!